How to Repair an ABS Pipe Joint

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a hard black plastic that is used in the manufacture and installation of household sewer and vent lines.
Scrape off burrs from the pipe cuts using a utility knife.Scrape off burrs from the pipe cuts using a utility knife.
The sections of pipe come in 8 foot lengths, and join to one another with ABS couplings and ABS cement. The couplings come in 30, 45, 60, 90 and 180-degree angles. Once the cement hardens (which takes only seconds) a broken ABS joint can only be removed by cutting it from the pipeline. A new coupling is then installed in its place into the sewer line.

Step 1

Mark the ABS pipes entering each side of the coupling 6 inches from where the pipes enter the coupling. Cut all the way through both pipes at the marks using a handsaw. Make the cuts straight. Discard the broken coupling. Remove all burrs from the pipe cuts with a utility knife.

Step 2

Apply ABS cement around the outside of both existing pipe ends. Then cement one inside end of two straight (180-degree) ABS couplings. Quickly push the cemented ends of the couplings onto the pipe ends, holding them in position for five seconds while the cement dries.

Step 3

Push 8 inch (or longer) sections of ABS pipe into each end of a new ABS coupling (with the same angle as the old broken coupling), using no cement at this time. Hold the new coupling and pipe sections in position against the existing cut pipe ends, and mark on each pipe the place where they will enter the new installed couplings (allow for how far they will enter each coupling's inlet).

Step 4

Take the new pipe sections out of the new coupling, and cut both pipes at the marks. Remove any burrs. Apply ABS cement to one outside end of both new pipes, and the inside ends of the new coupling. Push the pipe ends into the coupling and hold in place for five seconds.

Step 5

Cement the other ends of the new pipes, and the remaining inside ends off the installed straight couplings. Push the pipe ends into the straight couplings, and hold in place for five seconds.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Marker pen
  • Handsaw
  • Utility knife
  • ABS cement
  • Straight ABS couplings (2)
  • ABS pipe sections (8 inches or longer)
  • ABS coupling

About the Author

Steve Sloane started working as a freelance writer in 2007. He has written articles for various websites, using more than a decade of DIY experience to cover mostly construction-related topics. He also writes movie reviews for Inland SoCal. Sloane holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and film theory from the University of California, Riverside.